The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of March 13, 2017

Which TV series will your friends (and the entire internet) be talking about this week? Stay informed — or at least be able to fake it — with SideReel's weekly guide to The Most Important Shows on TV.

 

Trial & Error: S1E1

Trial & Error
(Series Premiere)

Tuesday at 9 p.m. on NBC

Why: Continuing NBC's tradition of mockumentary-style comedies, Trial & Error follows a young New York lawyer played by Nick D’Agosto who heads to a small South Carolina town to help defend an eccentric poetry professor accused of murdering his wife. As he works with a two-person team of weirdos in an office next to a taxidermy shop, his client's actions become harder to defend. The premise is smart and the cast is stacked with talented actors, led by the effortless John Lithgow as the alleged murderer, but the show is firmly locked in "gently funny" territory for now. That doesn't mean it won't move into lolzier waters — after all, Parks and Recreation was kind of snoozy during Season 1. And there are wonderful moments in the premiere, including Lithgow's "rollercizing" and Sherri Shepherd's myriad conditions (revealed in the first episode: dyslexia, facial aphasia, and involuntary emotional expression disorder).

Prepare to talk about: Aubrey Plaza's doppelganger, Krysta Rodriguez, in a great reveal; the "Northeastern" euphemism; what other crimes would be ripe for mockery in future seasons.

 

Greenleaf: S2E1

Greenleaf
(Season Premiere)

Wednesday at 10 p.m. on OWN

Why: Greenleaf did big things for OWN last year. The highest-rated series debut in the network's history, it went on to become the year's top new cable series for women. And unlike some of OWN's previous, mostly Tyler Perry-produced, ratings winners, the soapy series about a black megachurch in Memphis was actually a pretty solid hit with critics, too. Along with Ava Duvernay's Queen Sugar, Greenleaf helped bring OWN's scripted series to the next level. And Season 2 aims for more melodramatic fun. The first season ended with pedophile Uncle Mac getting out of jail by ratting out his brother-in-law, Bishop Greenleaf, for arson and manslaughter. Season 2 picks up three months later, with the family falling apart and, in an ironic twist, daughter Grace forced to help save the church she originally came back to town to bring down.

Prepare to talk about: Oprah Winfrey's scene-stealing role as pill-popping Mavis; guest star Rick "n boy he hot" Fox.

 

Marvel's Iron Fist: S1E1

Marvel's Iron Fist
(Series Premiere)

Friday at 3 a.m. on Netflix

Why: Netflix's fourth Marvel series is here and, well, the first three are really great! This one, however, is a mess. Here's the deal: A billionaire and his family are travelling on a private plane that goes down in the Himalayas. The only survivor appears to be the young son, who is rescued by monks and trained to be a fierce warrior. As an adult, he returns in New York to reconnect with his old life, reclaim his place within the family business, and, of course, to take down the city's baddies. The season's 13 episodes explore how Danny Rand became the Iron Fist and the truth surrounding his parents' deaths. Finn Jones (Game of Thrones' Loras Tyrell) as Danny is fine, but not nearly as compelling or entertaining as previous Marvel series protagonists — or this show's female costars: Jessica Henwick’s Colleen Wing and Rosario Dawson's Claire Temple. The one very important thing this show has going for it is its position setting up the highly anticipated crossover series Marvel’s The Defenders.

Prepare to talk about: Carrie-Anne Moss' appearances as Jeri Hogarth; the continuing concerns about Hollywood's portrayal of Asian cultures.

 

T.J. DeGroat is the editor of SideReel. He's Northeastern, but not "Northeastern." Follow him on Twitter.

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TelevisionFanboyContributor
Mar 15, 2017 2:10AM EDT

Very excited to give Trial and Error the chance it deserves. The talented cast and intriguing premise definitely make this a show to consider.

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TelevisionFanboyContributor
Mar 15, 2017 2:47AM EDT

*Update* Ten minutes into my viewing of Trial & Error, it is amazing. Could not reccomend more.

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